Fate and the predetermined have always been a soap staple, especially when it comes to love. Two people are "soulmates" and destined to be together (at least until the next soulmate comes along) no matter the odds against them; they have a love that is written in the stars and is supposed to last forever. While true, faithful eternal love may exist in real life, on a soap, two people being happy together for years upon years is just boring. Hence the scheming "wanna-be" lovers and exes, the presumed dead spouses, the enticing new character and constant misunderstandings. Without drama that puts love to the test, what good is a soap opera?
It strikes me though that an inherent problem with fate is that people who believe in it say things couldn't have happened any other way, while non-believers say it's just an accident and had one thing been different then, everything could be different now. Also, hindsight is 20/20, and it's easy to say in the present that what's happened in the past was for a reason.
Why do I bring this up now? Because DAYS has really been overdoing the fate and destiny bit. We have triangles galore, and the word "destiny" is being thrown about like tinsel on a Christmas tree. Does it have any meaning anymore?
According to years of history, Bo and Hope were destined to be together. Stefano couldn't keep them apart, scheming liars didn't, others tried and failed, and not even "death" and a years long separation could stop the love between these two. Sure there were other loves in Bo's life while Hope was presumed dead, and there were times we weren't always sure they would get back together. But eventually their true love always came through for them, and what started out as a popular couple in the early 80's became one of the few soap supercouples of all time. Fast forward to 2004 and ex-wife Billie is back in Bo's life, their presumed stillborn daughter seems to be very much alive, and Celeste (the direct line to the fates who has yet to be wrong, semantics aside) is suddenly predicting that Hope will lose her husband to the mother of his daughter. So let me get this straight: in the face of one child, two decades of history, two other children and years of love will go down the tubes? Huh? What happened to the destiny and fate that's been made so much of-shouldn't it withstand any and everything, just as it always had before? And doesn't James Reilly remember two years ago when TPTB tried to bring Billie back and the viewers weren't having any of it? Seriously, maybe 2% of the DAYS viewing population want Bo and Billie together, and he's going to annoy the other 98% just to make some story. That makes me mad. (And let's not forget Celeste's Valentine's Day premonition that this next Valentine's Day Hope, Lexie and Jen would all be remarried. Will Reilly remember that?)
Sami has gone so far as to consult as phone-in psychic to help figure out whether her destiny is with Lucas or Brandon! Fans could tell you it should be with Lucas-they have the history together, the chemistry, the zing. They understand each other and have forgiven the other horrible things. Yet the show's fates keep aligning it so that Brandon now seems to be the one Sami is supposed to be with. (A concept Kate is only to happy to further.) But is it really "supposed to be" if you can't accept the core qualities of a person, no matter how distasteful?
Some would say that Marlena and Roman rekindling their love is destiny. They were a much loved couple for many, many years. They have children together, they shared a very deep and lasting love. In some ways it's that loved that doomed them. Even on soaps, a madman convincing you and "your" family that you are someone other than who you believe to be for years on end just to cause chaos is somewhat rare. That love between Doc and Roman was transferred to Doc and John just because John was believed to be Roman for so long; then John and Marlena also had a love their own that grew out of that. Yet there is still no denying the love that was between Marlena and the real Roman. With their loved ones thinking them dead, maybe it's no surprise that Roman and Marlena have turned to each other. The same can be said of the Victor/Caroline/Shawn triangle (well, minus the evil madman part). Does that mean that I want Roman and Marlena and Victor and Caroline together? No. But still-is it destiny that's bringing these people together in this way at this time for a particular reason?
Then you have destiny and the Philip/Belle/Shawn triangle. "Shawn and Belle belong together, they're destined to be together," Mimi blathers on (though just a few months ago she was telling Belle to be with Philip). If that's so, which seems more likely than Belle and Philip, why can't they get it right? Why is it predetermined for them to fight so vengefully, half hating each other? They FINALLY made love this week, which should have been every 'Shelle' fan's dream come true, yet it's another nightmare because Belle doesn't totally remember it and Shawn thinks she wants Philip! Belle and Phil will be married very soon. (Really.) Obviously that doesn't mean much on a soap, but it's still supposed to be a lifelong commitment that one should enter with no reservations about other loves. Remember that bit about "faithful, true eternal love"?
I suppose, when you come right down to it, that's the problem with love on soaps. In the interest of story characters do stupid things and have horrible things happen to them. It's easy for TPTB to look at a couple on television and decide to try to turn them into the next destined, fated supercouple by manipulating past storylines and coming up with new ones. Yeah, you may want said twosome together, but that doesn't mean it's destiny. It just means that's who we want to see on our televisions. Really, how is it decided that this couple or that one is "destined" to be together anyway? Is it just because they're really popular or because they are together for a long time or what? Besides, who is "destined" to be together changes as often as head writers do, and literally from one day to the next, "true love" can die or spring from nothingness. TPTB are God on soaps, and when they jerk us around for years on end, should we bother to believe in destiny?
RANDOM THOUGHTS It cracked me up that in the search for their daughter Georgia, Bo and Billie, supercop extraordinaires, were so reliant on special ISA technology that they forgot about plain, old surveillance... So it's pretty clear that the person drugging (or anti-drugging) John and videotaping him is on Tony's payroll, but is it really Tek? I know he is leaving the show, but I really hope it's not true. And is John's next storyline going to be as a drug addict? If it is, I'm sure Kate will help him detox, only further adding to this closeness between them, and further alienating them from Roman and Marlena... And how long do you think we'll have to put up with near-misses as Bo and Billie skulk around the same mansion the captives are in?... But I somehow think the clues leading to Georgia, like the huge sign bearing her name on what was once her room, are just a little too obvious. Maybe this is all some DiMera plot to torture the Bradys more? I can hope... As worried as Hope is about losing Bo to Billie (and given past events, you can't totally blame her), she is really handling the news about Georgia quite well. We all remember what an ass Bo was when it came to not being the parent of JT (well, really Zack, but you know what I mean)... I wonder if Belle will wind up pregnant from her and Shawn's night in the barn (I doubt they had protection available)... And who amongst you hasn't guessed Jan won't have her love cage taken down by the time Mimi got the troops out there to see it? Yeah, I thought so. Mimi should have just locked Jan in the damn thing and been done with it... Ali Sweeney (Sami) really looks great-she truly glows... Sami almost seemed unselfish as she urged Brandon not to leave Salem just because of her and to stay with his family for the holidays. Though it took him long enough to see Nicole... The newest "Miss Wendy" is a hoot! I loved her line about needing a boost from the Basic Black bras... But the best line of the week, the year even, by far belonged to Rex when he told Mimi, "You've been watching too much daytime television. Stuff like that only happens on that show Passions. This is real life, not a soap opera!"
Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope everyone has a healthy and joyous one, and I will see you back in two weeks with my year in review column :) (Input on what YOU think were the best or worst storylines of the year are always appreciated!)
See you soon,